The Manliest of Men: Adrian Carton de Wiart

Man has created some of the toughest sons of bitches on the face of the planet through both real events and fiction over and over again throughout history. In the movies we have Rambo, Terminator, and James Bond. In video games, Master Chief, Snake, and Duke Nuke’em. Through reality we had George Washington, the man who killed Osama Bin Laden, and King Leonidas. Yet somehow throughout the course of history, what is possibly the manliest of men to have walked the face of this planet, seems to have slipped through the cracks of the system and remains rather anonymous. I am talking about none other than Adrian Carton de Wiart.

For those who aren’t aware as to how badass this man truly is, here’s a sample of the first paragraph from his Wikipedia page.

Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart (5 May 1880 – 5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish descent. He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War; was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived a plane crash; tunnelled out of a POW camp; and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. He later wrote that “Frankly I had enjoyed the war” when describing his service in the First World War.

Excuse me for a minute. The man was shot in his face, head stomach, ankle, leg, hip, ear, survived a crash, escaped a POW camp, bit off his own fingers, and then said he enjoyed the war. I don’t think there is a single man on the planet since the days of King Leonidas who would have been bold enough to make that statement, none-the-less actually mean it.


With his black eye patch and empty sleeve, Carton de Wiart looked like an elegant pirate, and became a figure of legend.

It’s kind of hard to argue with his look, but then to even further amplify the level of awesomeness this man achieved in life comes through with the level of alpha he displayed among his comrades.

Carton de Wiart’s serious wound in the Boer War instilled in him a strong desire for physical fitness and he ran, jogged, walked, and played sports on a regular basis. In male company he was a delightful character and must hold the world record for bad language.

Basically he embodied everything that is manly. And of his escapades, the only real thing mentioned of him is that he had a wife who was 23 years younger than him. Although most of us now would laugh at marriage, looking at his time frame it was the norm, and hey at least he can be commended for picking up someone far younger than himself.

Carton de Wiart was also a man whom participated in both World Wars. While most men were battered into mush from the effects of PTSD, this man had enough testicular fortitude to both forge his way through two of the worst wars in history while continuing to live his life as he pleased until his death. For that I commend him. And while his life itself tended to embark upon several significant events, I’d rather keep this as a general overview, hoping to inspire some reading upon you as to whom this great man really was. And so with that I’ll just resolve this post with a quote of his.

Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.

Read Next: Two Years Before The Mast

68 thoughts on “The Manliest of Men: Adrian Carton de Wiart”

  1. thank you for sharing this. i have a new hero. hard to fathom that today’s effeminate, subservient man-boys are of the same gender (let alone the same SPECIES) as this Man.

  2. You too can be an ROK writer just
    like Mikael by copy and pasting your article
    straight from Wikipedia…

    1. like the “telephone tough guys” who curse and threaten from the safety of their mobile phone, people like you pass judgment from the safe glow of their apple computers.
      mikael has written a brief post regarding a fascinating man. it’s safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of RoK readers have never heard of this man. apologies to the learned “Paul Wellner” that mikael didn’t cite primary sources in this article.
      unlike you, mikael has shared something that many of us will remember for years to come. how sad for you, paul, that nothing you say or write is worth remembering.

      1. There is a big difference between using sources and quoting Wikipedia verbatim, with absolutely nothing new added at all, and then ending the copycat effort with the lame……
        “I’d rather keep this as a general overview” (translate: I can’t find anywhere else to copy and paste from).
        If it was any more general to make ROK readers aware of this guy, you might as well have just posted a link…. read it and you will see my point….
        This is where amateur blogs and amateur journalism depart from anything even resembling professional and sink into school boy status….
        ROK should change it’s name to Lord of the Flies instead.

        1. Moreover, Mikael touts his background in literature, writing, and history.
          That said, RoK is still a valuable resource overall, even if the quality of the writing sometimes disappoints. And of course there are contributing writers (Tuthmosis for example) who excel at both content and execution…

        2. I too enjoyed the article, until I googled for wikipedia, because the article was light on info, and discovered that the article was quoted verbatim…. which sorry…. is lame…..
          call a spoon a fucking spoon and be done with it…..
          not even a 10 year old could pass a high school assignment with this shite….
          set some standards……. or someone will soon start a better blog…..

        3. Read my comment again– I’m agreeing with your criticism of this article and Mikael’s writing. I also agree that Roosh could indeed set higher standards for RoK contributors, as some of the articles posted are poorly executed or downright pointless.
          Nevertheless, I still think that overall the site is invaluable and there are a number of contributing writers who do a great job.

        4. I knew I’d get criticism with using Wikipedia, and I honestly don’t care. The point of this was to introduce the manosphere of this man, not write a historical essay of everything he has done in life. Think cliff notes. If you want the details, the point is to do additional research yourself.

    2. So many haters around the manosphere these days. Why not look for the value in things instead of trying to bring everything down all the time?
      To the writer, I enjoyed the article and found the man’s story inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Thank you. I honestly didn’t intend for this to be a “here’s everything about this man” post, but rather here are some highlights lifted from Wiki to get everyone else to read about him.

  3. “Man has created some of the toughest sons of bitches on the face of the planet through both real events and fiction over and over again throughout history.”
    Mike, I think you should work on this opening sentence. It’s kind of awkward. Good subject though.

    1. I won’t argue, and I’ll see what I can develop. Even with my studying I sometimes come up with ideas that I fail at putting in proper context.

    2. I rather like it. Doesn’t competition with the best bring out your best? I thought it was manly and positive.

  4. if you go on there’s more than a few posts on manliest men/ war hero types.
    my favourite is the brit guy with the claymore [sword]

      1. Don’t forget the longbow. And he joined the Commandos because “it sounded like fun”. Didn’t even know what they were.

  5. He was still just a servant of governments that sent him to the worst wars possible. The Boar War where the British committed war crimes that inspired the Nazis and the First World War where pretty much everyone was mixed up and was the major blow for ending classical European civilisation.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would probably enjoy war too, I have that mindset (perhaps my ADD) that can deal with lose quite easily. But this guy was still just a cog in the machine that gave us our modern mess.
    Getting shot a bunch of times and getting back up doesn’t make you manly. The difference between THIS guy and the other guys on the list including Washington, Osama (the guy who killed him was just a pawn himself) and the like, is while I disagree with them (yes I disagree with G. Washington) they were admirable because they pushed for what THEIR hearts told them to (yes even a crazy guy like Osama, at least he has conviction). This guy is forgotten because he was a servant of those who pushed for their own motives, not instrumental himself.
    So a guy can take a beating, but he takes a beating for someone else (a side from God or likewise ideals), that sounds like a battered wife… not like a man.

    1. “that can deal with lose quite easily”? “a side from God”? What exactly is your beef with George Washington? Sounds like you forgot to take your meds. You’d probably fold like a house of cards if someone looked at you the wrong way. I’m confident Mr. Wiart could have taken you out with his one arm at the age of 83.

      1. Let me know when you have something worth while to say, but by taking into account that you immediately start with ad hominem attacks, I’ll assume you never do.

        1. This article was about a single man who was a survivor. A man if there ever was one. This wasn’t an article about the horrors of war, or your “bitter prayers”, or your weird aversion to the greatest American to ever live, George Washington. When you take swipes at great men, don’t expect to sit comfortably behind your computer screen without a reply.

        2. You haven’t at all argued my points, ironically all you have done it try to attack me personally from behind your own screen. I’m not going to repeat myself, just this: one cannot define a man just because he survives or kills on the orders of someone else. So-called heroes like Washington are just myths taught to keep you believing in some false paper-nationhood. The greatest heroes in history are rarely known. Perhaps Washington is one, but all I know is that what is passed down to us is a type of hyped myth and one cannot objectively say whether he is great yet alone the greatest.
          I actually agreed with your last sentence in my first comment anyway: we can learn from their deaths, sadly you haven’t. And what hope is there when their fortitude and valor is crushed in battles they have no control over? This man is a survivor… okay, but like a cancer survivor. Any man will keep moving to stay alive. He isn’t a hero when all he wants to do is live. But if he was unlucky and shot in the head, he wouldn’t even have a page here. Just like all the millions of men that could have done the same as him. You think they were wussies because they got shot and died? Of course not, so why honour this one guy just because he was lucky and obeyed orders, and was able to keep obeying orders. When you’re in a situation like he was, all you can do is keep fighting, that is what happens, that is normal, that is war.

        3. You’re dead wrong about Washington. I thought Royalists had left America by the end of the 18th century, guess I was wrong. King George III was a tyrant, and thank God we had heroes like the Founders, led by Washington, who risked their lives and livelihoods to create the greatest republic the world had seen. Here’s my review of Paul Johnson’s excellent, short bio of Washington: If you’d spent any time studying his life, you wouldn’t spout off the idiocy that “he wrote history”, he surely made history, but his achievements were universally acknowledged by historians and contemporaries alike. Washington could have sat comfortably in Mount Vernon, but chose what was almost impossible over what was easy, because of his immense strength of character.
          What America has become since then is surely up for debate. The notion of Universalism (not Universialism) is a mutation thats taken hold since Lincoln, and to blame Washington and our “silly rebellion” for the state of affairs centuries later is laughable. Would you have recommended Britain’s tone-deaf monarchy? Maybe head’s rolling off of the guillotine in revolutionary France? The massacres circa 1917 in Russia?
          Back to your original comment. You besmirch the name of a highly honorable man, Adrian Carton de Wiart. You call him a “cog in the machine”, “like a battered wife” and “not like a man”, shame on you, you cowardly son of a bitch. You may be the “sorry offspring” of “cowards”, but don’t drag the rest of us down with you. I’m descended from brave men that risked their lives to defend their families and homeland, as are many other men who read this blog. I’m not hiding behind a screen, here I am: I’m in Palo Alto, California right now. Don’t lecture me about history. Your cynical mindset and reliance on straw-man arguments may fool others, not me.

        4. This response I admire. I’ve not yet seen a commenter voluntarily reveal his identity during the heat of a “comments” battle. Now that’s what I call escalation, and throwing down the gauntlet. Ballsy move, passionate response, cogent argument. Well done, Nick.

        5. “One cannot define a man just because he survives or kills on the orders of” – Actually yes you can. That is PRECISELY how masculine is defined. By your fortitude and endurance of physical pain, and by your ability to inflict violence upon your fellow men. That is the evolutionary script for masculine valor. Everything else…fucking chicks, building civilization, art, culture, law, mathematics, EVERYTHING else is secondary.

    2. I seriously wonder how you disagree with George Washington. The man voluntarily surrendered power when he could have been a dictator or crowned king if he wanted to be, to say nothing of his other exploits.
      Very, VERY few men, even other alpha men in history, have had the self-control to resist such temptation.

      1. He was a heathen who declared war against his King, separating the Anglos and the Britons of America from their kinfolk which in-part became what we know as modern day Universialism, worship of a flag and the pathetic and completely flexible ideal of ‘liberty’.
        If he had become mad with power he would have lost all credibility and the rebellion would have been for nothing. Either way, Anglos were smart enough not to allow a dictator, but not smart enough to realise where these ideas would lead (removing their own power completely, and now they have to belittle themselves with being American, or even ‘white’ and having no ethnicity). Of course since Americans at the time were like-minded and were of all similar culture they could never imagine where this silly rebellion would lead to. George Washington won, of course we see him as the good guy, he wrote history… Just like the rest of them did, even Lincoln. But perhaps I am wrong, either history is a myth, but it is always worth exploring ideas that you thought were always right. But think about one thing: Did Washington pay more taxes to the British then Americans do now? I doubt it, but it would be an interesting case study.

        1. Good points here. I can give Washington the benefit of the doubt — but I have turned definitively anti-Lincoln in recent months.

      2. President George Washington had Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson square off on the merits of creating a central bank. Of course he signed off on it. He was also president of the Constitutional Congress that again permitted by constition the ability of the ‘federal’ government create fiat money by the flowery language of weights and measures. The cover story history is not the true history. For true history, listen to what Smedley Butler said and wrote about his service being a racket. This appears to be a reenactment of the speech he gave ’round the country around the time the Bonus Army was violently routed.

        In short, people with power don’t want to give it up, especially if it is a family legacy. What would such people not do to have your consent of the governed?

      3. And, I forgot, George Washington was apparently sterile. No kids, the perfect choice for first president if you don’t want a king. His wife Martha had four children by a previous and deceased husband. President George had no son and no living step-son. Maybe a step-daughter, and certainly a step-grandson could have been heir at best, which is not much threat. But a heroic figure nonetheless. My argument is that the difference between the good guys and bad guys is not as black and white as the establishment would have you believe.

      4. Sulla and Diocletian. And their power was much more absolute.
        (Not to detract from GW’s restraint, though it could be argued that all presidents before FDR resisted the same urge since until then it was not a rule, just a precedent.)

    3. He actually probably thought of governments and wars as convenient excuses to do what was in his nature.
      If you look at the real manly military men, they all participate of their own volition and enthusiasm. Sure, they follow the chain of command, but they get sad if they *aren’t* sent on dangerous missions.
      Take the first lines of Apocalypse Now: “I’m here a week now… waiting for a mission… getting softer. Every
      minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie
      squats in the bush, he gets stronger.”
      “Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one.”

      1. “He actually probably thought of governments and wars as convenient excuses to do what was in his nature.” Too fucking true. The OP doesn’t get it. Physical power is it’s own motive, regardless of how you are wounded or injured- it’s the resolve to continue that embodies masculine valor. The evolutionary heritage of the human race is that the strongest and most ruthless establish their rule, in modern times weak and craven men are able to be voted to the top of the political power structure and they are a disaster. The last hardcore President we had was probably Teddy Roosevelt.

  6. This is one of the most enjoyable articles I’ve read here. I’ve certainly never heard of him til now and I’m glad I did

    1. I suggest looking into Grutte Pier and Gotz Von Berlichingen. Countless rebellions, sea battles, castle sieges, raiding and killing.. Ever wanted to know where the expression “kiss my ass” came from? Look no further. The Imperial Knights were rank with masculinity and mercilessness.

  7. And of his escapades, the only real thing mentioned of him is that he had a wife who was 23 years younger than him
    not sure if you’ve heard, but just this past weekend, a 58-yo alpha manly man’s man, a shining avatar of the manosphere, has revealed he is engaged to a single mom 24 years his junior.
    too soon?

  8. As a former military officer and student of military history, I have read numerous accounts of the general’s career and life. Supposedly he was wounded seven times and each time on a Sunday. He was also assigned to Poland during the inter-war period and took to the upper-class Polish lifestyle as if the to the manner born. I can’t help but wonder what he would think about our new, kinder, gentler, feminized military….

    1. He would probably think that we better have robots fight our future conflicts because Americans certainly will not be able to do so effectively.

  9. This. ROK needs more articles detailing historical figures- men that can bring us inspiration in a culture devoid of strong masculine examples to emulate, and less articles talking about shit that we already know like how game is necessary. I’d never heard of this guy before, despite my interest in military history. People that denigrate the shortness and lack of creativity should understand that it’s probably nothing more than a brief introduction to make readers aware of the man.
    In a similar wrote an article about John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough for submission to ROK, but haven’t heard back from Samseau just yet. If anyone would like to read it (I’d appreciate it and any feedback), I’ve put it on my own new blog:

    1. “men that can bring us inspiration in a culture devoid of strong masculine examples to emulate.” so true.

    2. Seconded. The Duke of Marlborough is an interesting guy. I’d love to know more about him. I think Roosh had a post about Xenophon at one point – another amazing man of history. For my contribution to the great men I would add Bob Denard:

      1. It’s pretty unfortunate. He’s very underrated because there are so few things ever written or shows made about him. As I said in my entry, you likely won’t know who he is if you don’t study military history.
        Never heard of that guy either. I suggest doing an entry, whether that be here or a personal site or blog.

  10. I know of one Spaniard as mainly (if not more) as him, Blas de Lezo, the Halfman.
    With 15 he he had his leg amputated under the knee without anesthesia and without saying a word or making a noise, with 18 he lost one eye and with 25 his right arm.
    He had fought in many battles and wars but it will be always remembered for the battle of Cartagena de Indias where with only 4000 men and 6 ships he defended the city against an army of 30.000 british men and 186 ships
    We can say that thanks to him, you still have to speak Spanish instead of English when traveling to Colombia 😉

  11. From the Wikipedia article:

    In his memoirs, Happy Odyssey, Carton de Wiart makes no reference to his wife or to his daughters.

    Now, that’s alpha.

  12. Awful prose – if we can actually call it prose. Let us look at the first paragraph one more time:
    “Man has created some of the toughest sons of bitches on the face of the planet through both real events and fiction over and over again throughout history. [WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!!] In the movies we have Rambo, Terminator, and James Bond. In video games, Master Chief, Snake, and Duke Nuke’em. Through reality we had George Washington, the man who killed Osama Bin Laden, and King Leonidas. Yet somehow throughout the course of history, what is possibly the manliest of men to have walked the face of this planet, seems to have slipped through the cracks of the system and remains rather anonymous. I am talking about none other than Adrian Carton de Wiart.”
    I am very fond of this website and particularly enjoy reading the pieces by Roosh and Quintus Curtius, but this article was so poorly written that it would have won Dennis Dutton’s Bad Writing Contest.

  13. It’s interesting to read the discussion above as to how much of a man de Wiart was by virtue of only acting under command. I’ve often thought that many prestigious jobs are like this. An airline pilot is just a glorified bus driver. A medical doctor is just a hired servant. An engineer is just a glorified handy man. Lawyers are just hired paper pushers. The only men who have real power to take on the world and shape it to their will are business men, politicians, and conquerors. A true conqueror draws ruling power directly to himself by military force. Any other military officer is just a gofer for a politician.
    However, I would say that persons in authority in the military or police follow closely behind in having real power. In really senior positions, they have the power to shape the world, as in the case of General MacArthur. I would also say certain thinkers, innovators and opinion leaders have power strictly based on the influence of their ideas. In some cases, this influence is not even recognized until after they have died, but I would still call it a form of power, in the way their work or ideas influence future generations.
    If one is does not hold power in the sense above, one can still have power on a much smaller scale, as a man with the resources and will to influence and control family, friends, and the community around him. In most cases, I would say that a man must achieve some level of power in order for us to herald him as a real man, worthy of our respect and honor. The one other category I would add is for men who achieve accomplishments, or extreme feats of bravery, or perseverance, beyond what most mortal men could or would seek out. These feats may never bring them any real degree of power, but still qualify them as real men.
    I would certainly rank de Wiart as a real man by these criteria, both for extreme feats, and as a military combat officer.

  14. Here’s another total badass you should look up: Corporal Léo Major (
    Some of his notable accomplishments:
    -single-handedly captured 93 German soldiers in one battle
    -after being injured when the truck he was in hit a landmine, he escaped from the hospital to GO BACK to the war
    -later on, after being sent on a reconnaissance mission, he instead decided to liberate an entire Dutch town on his own, ambushing groups of German soldiers one at a time
    -in the Korean War he held back 14,000 Chinese troops with only 20 men for 3 days until reinforcements arrived.
    Incidentally, he also wore an eye-patch.

  15. To quote Tom Araya from Slayer “They say the pen is mightier than the sword. But I say fuck the pen, ’cause you can die by the sword!”

  16. Dudes nowadays are so fuckin’ effeminate that it is impossible to make friends with them. They gossip and care so much about their face that they would be better off by joining a gay community where friendships are colorful like rainbows, strong like My Little Pony and sophisticated like Barbie and Ken.

    1. Goin’ hunting and learning a combat sport like Sambo, Muay Thai, Boxing and Jiu Jitsu is a pretty fuckin’ good start.

  17. This entire article: Hey guys I found a cool Wikipedia article, let me copy and paste that here. The other half of the article will just be me saying the same things in different words

  18. So, he was taken prisoner in Italy in WW2 and then busted out when the Italians were contemplating ditching the Germans in 43, the idea was that they would send him over the line to help negotiate the truce with the Brits.
    But to make it past the lines he had to wear civilian clothes. So they had a local tailor make him a suit. But Wiart said that he wouldn’t wear one of those “bloody gigolo suits.”
    In the end, he told an Italian tailor how to cut his suit and he later said the suit he got from that experience was the best he ever had in his life.

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